Why Hannah Brown Is the Favorite to Win ‘Dancing With the Stars’

After 10 weeks of inspired performances, dubious eliminations, and more controversy than anyone needed, Season 28 of Dancing With the Stars concludes on Monday, November 25. The finale airs live at 8 p.m. EST (7 p.m. Central) on ABC.

That means the Mirror Ball trophy will go to one of these four remaining couples: Lauren Alaina and pro partner Gleb Savchenko; Kel Mitchell and pro partner Witney Carson; Ally Brooke and pro partner Sasha Farber; or Hannah Brown and pro partner Alan Bersten.

If the trophy went to the couple with the best dancing scores, we’d expect to see Brooke or Mitchell crowned champion. However, due to the outsize influence of audience votes (votes that come from just half the country), neither Brooke not Mitchell will go into the finale as the favorite to win.

Due to her improvement on the dance floor and consistent audience support all season, we’d put Brown as the most likely to win. And informal audience polls have backed up that pick.

Brown’s solid dancing and unwavering support make her the favorite

DANCING WITH THE STARS – Hannah Brown and Alan Bersten perform during Week 8 of Season 28. | Kelsey McNeal/ABC via Getty Images

No one can deny what an important role audience votes play in DWTS competitions. Without lopsided support from voters, Sean Spicer wouldn’t have made it past the opening weeks of Season 28.

With the remaining contestants, audience votes have continued to play a factor. That’s how Ally Brooke, who’s been among this season’s best dancers, found herself among the bottom two couples on two separate occasions. (The judges saved Brooke from elimination both times.)

Of the four celebrities still competing, Hannah Brown is the only one who hasn’t faced elimination in Season 28. That suggests unwavering support among DWTS voters for the former Bachelorette star. And that should go a long way toward getting Brown the Mirror Ball trophy.

But Brown’s status as favorite doesn’t begin and end with the audience. Though she’s had the occasional struggle on the dance floor, Brown has scored a perfect 10 from one of the judges on five separate occasions. She’s hitting her peak as the season comes to a close.

Brown will have to maintain her late-season push to pull it off

DANCING WITH THE STARS: Tom Bergeron speaks with Hannah Brown and Alan Bersten. | Eric McCandless/ABC via Getty Images

Since a larger audience should be expect for the DWTS finale, Brown can’t lean on the audience vote in order to win. She’ll have to continue to showcase her improvements on the dance floor and nail down high scores from the judges in order to walk away with the trophy.

Bersten, who’s shined in both his leading and his choreography choices all season, will need to guide Brown through two more near-flawless dances (one Viennese waltz, one freestyle). Their chemistry, which was on full display in the Week Eight quickstep, will need to be out in force during the finale.

As for Mitchell (the most improved) and Brooke (the all-around best dancer), both contestants need a surge in audience votes if they are to win the trophy. Alaina, who’s danced her best in the season’s final weeks, will need more more stellar performances to match her strong audience support. But Brown is heading into the finale as the favorite.

Also see: Here’s How Much ‘Dancing With the Stars’ Ratings Have Fallen This Season